Two Immigrant Women to Join as Supervisors Next Year

In January 2021, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors would add two newly-elected supervisors to their ranks. The said incoming members are both immigrant women, bringing in more diversity and color to the board’s existing superintendents’ panel to handle the state’s local and foreign affairs.

Myrna Melgar grew up in El Salvador but fled from the place due to civil war events when she was 12. Meanwhile, Connie Chan moved to San Francisco when she was 13 and spent her early childhood years in Hong Kong. Melgar and Chan are the board’s two new additional members, and both came from communities that often get treated in the Bay Area political industry as “diminished.” However, the two immigrants are also part of the triumphant office’s growing popularity of women of a color political roster of candidates and winners.

Due to their achieved victories during this year’s elections, each of the two women will represent the regions they campaigned for their nominations. Melgar would represent District 7 and neighboring states such as Lakeside, Inner Sunset, Forest Hill, Parkside, and Parkmerced. On the other hand, Chan would manage over District 1, a land that consists of the Richmond municipality.

In preparation for their official supervisor terms this upcoming January, The Chronicle news media conducted interviews to know Melgar and Chan better. The scheduled conference includes asking them questions related to their San Francisco projects in supporting the city’s Latino and Chinese American citizens. Moreover, the News Chronicle inquired them of their thoughts on joining the board as two immigrants women. The following are Melgar and Chan’s interview summaries regarding the mentioned matters:

1 – Knowing a panel consisting of mostly men during recent years, what does it mean to you joining the same group as a woman?

Melgar responded to the question by saying that her immigrant experiences molded how she views things in perspectives that most people do not have. Additionally, she also noted that she was District 7’s first woman supervisor, which made her acknowledge that ladies think differently on things than males. Melgar mentioned that due to her hands-on experience as a current mother of three children, Melgar understands the state’s child care issues and how to resolve them during the ongoing pandemic.

On the other hand, Chan answered the question by looking back on 2016’s presidential election results, to which Trump emerged victorious, with 13% of voters coming from San Francisco chose him. In 2020, however, she noted that Trump only got 9% of support from San Francisco voters. Due to that, Chan expressed how important it is for her to join the board as a first-generation immigrant woman. She then recognized that winning a position in the panel comes with many challenges and work to do.

 2 – As an immigrant woman, how will your experiences shape your political agendas on the board?

For this question, Melgar responded with her immense desire to uplift the laborers’ rights within the state, especially immigrant workers. She wishes to oversee employment hiring operations to see that transparency and fairness are happening when job applicants undergo application stages, such as who git hired, who got interviewed, and reports detailing the number of applicants who applied for a vacancy. Moreover, Melgar also expressed her plan to encourage affordable housing in San Francisco and help immigrants’ process of opening businesses in the nation become less complicated.

Meanwhile, Chan’s reply to this question is her desire to make people understand that the Asian American community is not immovable. Chan’s previously mentioned statement aims to help other citizens recognize how city policies affect them, especially during this time of the pandemic. For her, translating the municipality’s services to the public is not enough for people to understand how important it is to follow imposed guidelines.